Melissodes agilis Cresson, 1878
Many species of Melissodes are specialists on members of the family Asteraceae. Melissodes agilis specializes on sunflowers (Helianthus). It is the most common species of the genus in North America according to LaBerge (1961). This female was photographed in Ithaca, New York.
Melissodes bimaculatus (Lepeletier, 1825)
A very distinctive species due to its black colouration, contrasting white scopa and two white spots on the abdomen which give this bee its name. This species can often be found visiting a diversity of flowers. It can sometimes be a frequent visitor of crops such as watermelon. This picture was taken in East Lansing, Michigan.
Melissodes denticulatus Smith, 1854
"Old blue eyes" would be a good name for this specialist on ironweed (Vernonia). The bright blue eye colour is lost in preservied specimens. This picture was taken in Lansing, Michigan.
Melissodes desponsus Smith, 1854
This relatively dark Melissodes is a specialist on thistle (Cirsium) and can be regularly found on its host plant.
Melissodes druriella (Kirby, 1802)
This bee visits a number of Asteraceae. It can often be found on Solidago or Ratibida as shown in the associated image. This bee was photographed in East Lansing, Michigan.
Bombus griseocollis (DeGeer, 1773)
This easily recognizable bumble bee is among the most common in the northeastern United States. Bumble bees are social species and important pollinators of many wildflowers and agricultural crops. This individual was photographed on the slope west of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. This picture also made the cover of an issue of PNAS!
Images are copyright of Jason Gibbs. Please do not use without permission.